Bandolier Bags: Hidden In Plain Sight


Title: Hidden in Plain Sight – Beaded Bandolier Bag by Martha Berry

Completed: July 2007, requiring 283 hours to produce

• Winner: Grand Prize, Cherokee Homecoming Art Show 2007

Size: Approx. 36 1/2”H x 15 1/2”W x 2”D

Materials: Glass beads on wool stroud; cotton, silk. To the extent possible, all materials are authentic to the early 19th century.


Hidden in Plain Sight

“An elder of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee relates that after contact, beadwork enabled cultural survival:

‘It was a visual language that kept beliefs alive.’ Attempting to suppress Native culture, colonists destroyed the Cherokee’s wampum belts—the repositories of their sacred and historical knowledge. Cherokee teachings continued, however though presented in acceptable Western forms. ‘When we worked with flowers (floral designs), we made the missionaries happy. But hidden in the flowers, as well as other images, the beliefs were kept alive. In the flowers were messages and telegrams... The spiritual teaching still circulated.’”

-- Lois Sherr Dubin. 1999. North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment: From Prehistory to Present. New York: Harry N. Abrams.


How many sun circles, equilateral crosses, four-winds and Uktena can you find . . . hidden in plain sight?

MasterCard and Visa accepted. Please e-mail Mrs. Berry if you wish to purchase beadwork using your MasterCard or Visa credit card. Thanks.